English Premiership

Reds miss out on Europe

2011-05-22 20:40
Stewart Downing (AFP)
Birmingham - Liverpool will be without European football for the first time in 11 years following a 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa on the final day of the Premier League season on Sunday.

Kenny Dalglish's side had to record a result that was better than Tottenham's to finish above the London side in fifth place, which was the only way they could qualify for the Europa League.

But an Aston Villa winner from Stewart Downing plus news of a Tottenham victory over Birmingham meant they had to settle for sixth place.

It was a disappointing end to the campaign but Liverpool fans will still believe they have a bright future in Anfield legend Dalglish's second spell in charge.

Raul Meireles fired in Liverpool's first shot and when that was deflected behind Lucas Levia's effort from the corner was cleared off the line by Ashley Young.

Villa retaliated and Jamie Carragher, the Liverpool captain, was in the way of a shot from Stiliyan Petrov before needing treatment on a head wound sustained in an earlier challenge with James Collins.

He eventually returned with a red headband but not until Villa had been forced to make a change themselves, with Fabian Delph replaced by Marc Albrighton just before the half hour mark.

Downing fired Villa ahead in the 33rd minute when Albrighton's cross to the back post was missed by the Liverpool defence and two home players as well.

Downing was perfectly positioned to chest the ball down and he beat Pepe Reina at his near post with a shot into the roof of the net.

Martin Skrtel almost levelled but was unable to connect with Fabio Aurelio's free-kick to the far post that had eluded the Villa defence.

The game was Villa goalkeeper Brad Friedel's 400th in the Premier League and his 266th in a row, with the USA international also having celebrated the birth of a son and become the first 40-year-old to play for the club.

Friedel pulled off a top-class save to deny Meireles after Luis Suarez had showed superb skills to fool two Villa defenders and pull the ball back for the Portugal international, whose shot was powerful and on target yet somehow clawed away by the goalkeeper as he dived to his left.

Collins might have made it 2-0 soon afterwards when a cross reached him in front of goal but his first-time effort bobbled wide off his shins.

Suarez blasted over from the edge of the box as Liverpool began to realise that it was not going to be their day or, despite an impressive late surge, their season either.

Gabriel Agbonlahor, the Villa substitute, should have made it 2-0 straight after when Darren Bent beat the offside trap and pulled the ball across the goal invitingly but the England international failed to make contact.

Then Petrov saw a fierce drive parried by Reina and the rebound hacked away.

The final whistle was greeted with a huge cheer by the Villa fans, who were determined to celebrate a ninth-place finish - and confirmation of Birmingham's relegation.

Read more on:    epl  |  stewart downing


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

13 February 2016
Sunderland v Manchester United, Stadium of Light 14:45
Norwich City v West Ham United, Carrow Road 17:00
Everton v West Bromwich Albion, Goodison Park 17:00
Swansea City v Southampton, Liberty Stadium 17:00
Crystal Palace v Watford, Selhurst Park 17:00
Bournemouth v Stoke City, Vitality Stadium 17:00
Chelsea v Newcastle United, Stamford Bridge 19:30
14 February 2016
Arsenal v Leicester City, Emirates Stadium 14:00
Aston Villa v Liverpool, Villa Park 16:05
Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur, Etihad Stadium 18:15
27 February 2016
West Ham United v Sunderland, Boleyn Ground 14:45
Stoke City v Aston Villa, Britannia Stadium 17:00
Leicester City v Norwich City, King Power Stadium 17:00
Southampton v Chelsea, St. Mary's Stadium 17:00
Watford v Bournemouth, Vicarage Road 17:00
West Bromwich Albion v Crystal Palace, The Hawthorns 19:30
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who was the best summer signing in the EPL?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


As the Absa Premiership nears the Christmas break, a little over half the season remains. Who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Which teams will be relegated? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.